Hands On: Fractal Design Node 304 Case

Introduction

There are so many methods to stream multimedia, it is hard to keep track of them all.  From the sending end, we have

  • Windows servers, whether that be SBS, Essentials, or WHS
  • A Windows client, such as Windows 7 or 8
  • NAS boxes, just about any shape or size
  • Apple Mac OS X Server
  • and anything else I may have missed

On the receiving end, we have

  • HTPCs
  • Boxee
  • Roku
  • Smart TVs
  • WD TV Live
  • Netgear Media players
  • and a great deal more!

The choices are almost overwhelming, but for me, the choices center around a Windows Home Server from the receiving end to an HTPC on the receiving end.  I actually have a few other options, but I know how to tweak a Windows PC to my needs, so I am most comfortable with that combination.

For my Windows computers, I typically build my own, which requires me to purchase a case specific to the type of computer I am building.  For an HTPC, I look for a small case that fits inside my media center cabinet.

All that brings me to the Fractal Design Node 304,

Node304_front-angled-view_hires

which is small enough to fit in my cabinet, quite attractive in a very clean way, absolutely silent, and will accept my mini ITX motherboard.

Or so I hope!

So, is the Node 304 the ideal HTPC case?  Or perhaps it might just be that Small Form Factor WHS chassis with plenty of growth potential.

Let’s find out!

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2 comments

  1. I just bought the Fractal Design Node 304 Case today for my new WHS2011 machine. Will let you know how it goes.

  2. just a little bit bigger and you could get a Matx mobo in there .. real flexibility in that case. I might go for minit-itx instaed of m-atx next go round… we’ll see.

    You should test with prime95 AND furmark to really show up any heat issues. or handbrake with quality settings on ultra high.

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